My SD turned 11 last week. She's turning into a little lady before our very eyes!
And I'm happy to say that things there are on the up. It seems that SD is getting a little fed up of the BM's anti-Dad and Wicked Steppie campaign - it's getting a bit old now, she's kept it up for 2 months. So I can start to see my relationship with SD improving, little by little. She asked me if I'd take her to the hairdresser to have her hair done nice at some point. This was after I'd come back from the new salon I've tried after mine closed down, with THE most fab haircut ever - genius extremely camp hair-man managed to tame my thick mad hair into a funky edgy bob. BM cuts SD's hair, and more often than not, doesn't do it very evenly, so she's asked if I'll take her to have hers cut properly.
Now this is a difficult one. SD is growing up fast, and rapidly becoming interested in beauty related stuff - she's got more Impulse sprays than there are days of the week, she's always wanting me to paint her nails, and asking me for advice on what outfits she's wearing. BM isn't really into this sort of stuff, she's gay - not that being gay precludes an interest in nail polish, but BM's just not into girly grooming. I wouldn't have said I'm especially girly or high maintenance but I do like to look well turned out. However, I'm a little bothered that taking SD to the hairdresser might provoke World War Three.
DP is fine with it. He thinks it is another life skill SD will need to learn eventually so she might as well start getting experience now of going to the hairdresser, telling them what she wants, having her hair washed and dried all nice will be a nice experience for her. She only wants a trim, she is very proud of her long blonde hair so we wouldn't be doing anything drastic, no funky edgy bobs or coloured hair dye, just getting it even, getting rid of the split ends and she can have it styled nicely. But, I'm still worried BM is going to go mental and that I'll be guilty of serious overstepping of her motherly boundaries. I do try and respect that while I'm fond of SD and want the best for her, I am not her parent, and don't try and do "parental" things like parents evenings or medical appointments. But hairdressing is less clear, especially as now SD is suddenly turning pre-teen with a vengeance, she needs a female role model to teach her about that stuff, and BM doesn't seem to be doing it - as DP said, I'm filling the gap in the market right now! But - does that mean we should let her go have her hair done even when BM has said no and prefers to do it herself (no doubt a cost saving exercise, child's haircut or a pack of fags and a six pack of Stella, hmmm tough choice). We had a big hoo-haa last year about SD's Christmas play at school, BM wanted SD back on Sunday night so she could do her hair for the play, as she thought it was unacceptable that I performed that task. Like many other things in split families, even something as innocuous as a hairdo can easily become a stepfamily West Bank.
Well, I've done the Steppie's Cop-Out and left it in DP's hands. As far as I'm concerned, he's the parent, he makes the decision and he takes any flak for the decision he makes. I'm happy that SD has come to me and wants to do this, but DP has got to decide whether getting rid of a few split ends are worth the potential row.